WASHINGTON--Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, stated July 7, that the Catholic community "will continue to push" lawmakers to pass immigration reform legislation this year, regardless of political commentary that Congress is unlikely to act this year.
"Our mission as Church is to defend the rights of the migrant, no matter what the political situation or polls may dictate," said Bishop Elizondo. "We must continue to push our lawmakers on both sides to act on this important national issue, as our fellow human beings continue to suffer under this broken system."
Bishop Elizondo made his comments prior to the beginning of the July 7-10, National Migration Conference in Washington, at the Renaissance Hotel. The conference, held every five years, is sponsored by Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB, the Catholic Legal Network, Inc., and Catholic Charities USA.
Other issues participants will bring to lawmakers include refugee funding, anti-trafficking measures, and the humane treatment of unaccompanied children entering the country.
"As advocates for the most vulnerable, we are committed to shining the light of the Gospel on these migration issues and being the voice of the voiceless," Bishop Elizondo said. "This is a crucial time for us to remind our lawmakers of their responsibilities to the common good, especially when it concerns the strangers among us."
Speakers at the conference include Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Luis CdeBaca, head of the State Department's Anti-Trafficking office and a panel of media experts. Over 40 workshops will be offered during the conference. Participants will advocate on Capitol Hill on Thursday, July 10.
More information and the full agenda can be found at: www.nationalmigrationconference.org